An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Frustrations, favourites and fabulosity of beading threads

A class with Maggie Meister converted me to using coloured bead thread in my beadweaving. Maggie provided gold thread to use with the gold Toho beads that were central to the project she was teaching. Being a creature of habit I had started the project using my favourite thread - black Silamide. It quickly became apparent that Maggie’s gold beadwork was more fabulously gold than mine because she was using gold, not black thread. Then and there I became a convert to matching thread colour to my beads and quickly accrued a rainbow of beading threads. Each time I stumbled across a new colour thread I bought it. Suddenly, translucent Delica gained a beautiful soft glow when I used them. My latest creation (just about to post on Etsy) is a case in point. I used purple Silamide thread with translucent purple Delica beads and it has produced a fabulous soft purple glow to finished weaving. However, my stash of coloured threads has grown in a very adhoc way. I see a colour I don’t have and I buy it. This has produced a stash that is a kaleidoscope of thread brands and it’s taken me a while to learn that not all bead threads are equal. My purple Silamide thread has been so frustrating to use. It seems to split and fray so easily. Similarly, with the wonderful array of colours I have in Nymo thread. One-G and SoNo have been fabulous to use. SoNo in particular just seems to glide unproblematically through the needle every time. Unfortunately, my adhoc purchasing means that I only have those in burgundy and black. I also have an unreliable memory when it comes to remembering the frustrations and fabulosity of beading threads. So, to help lesson the frustrations of beading with threads that fray, tangle and split I’ve begun to summarise my experiences (see below) so I can be clear about what my favourite beading thread is and why. Would love to hear about your beading thread frustrations and fabulosity. What’s your favourite beading thread? Why?

KO Thread (Japan)
  • Circular cross section thread
  • Pre-waxed
  • Will fit through a size 12 and 10 beading needle. Similar to Nymo B. It is identical to TOHO brand One G thread 50 metres per spool.
  • 12 colours: White, Black, Natural, Ivory, Rose, Rich Red, Gold, Dark Olive, Light Blue, Purple, Dark Brown & Light Grey.
  • Easy to thread. K.O. is supple, abrasion-resistant, colourfast, tangle-resistant & knots tightly.
Nymo, (USA)
  • Lightly waxed strands of nylon
  • Ranges from the thinnest "OO'' and "O" to "A", "B", through "G". A & B are good for size 11/Os. 00 works with size 15/0 beads.
  • 64 yards per small bobbin
  • 16 colours: Baby Pink, Rosy Mauve, Red, Burgundy, Sand, Brown, Olive, Evergreen, Grey, Turquoise, Royal Blue, Dark Blue, Light Purple, Dark Purple, Golden Yellow
  • Frays easily.
Kaygee WA (AUS)
  • Not waxed
  • Fine, Medium, Thick.
  • Use with size #10 or size #12 English beading needles.
  • 30 metres per spool 3 colours: Ivory, White and Black Tendency to fray quickly & limited colour range
  • Frays easily and tangles
C-Lon Thread (USA)
  • UV resistant nylon monofilament. (7lb test for breakage)
  • Size D is suitable for use with Delicas, 11/0s, 10/0s, or larger beads. Use with size #10 or size #12 English beading needles.
  • 80 yards per bobbin.
  • 36 colours: Ash, Beige, Burgundy, Capri, Chocolate, Cream, Gold, Golden Yellow, Black, Brown, Charcoal, Chartreuse, Dark Cream, Dark Green, Grey, Green, Lavender, Light Blue, Light Orchid, Olive, Pink, Purple, Royal Blue, Seafoam, Light Brown, Light Copper, Orange, Orchid, Red, Rose, Sienna, Sky Blue, Tan , Teal Turquoise Blue, White.
  • Stronger than Nymo, more colours & relatively fray proof.
One G, Toho (Japan)
  • Nylon thread.
  • Equivalent in size to D in Nymo and C-Lon.
  • 50 yards
  • 12 colours; White, Black, Grey, Ash, Rosey-Mauve, Burgundy, Dark Brown, Tan, Cream-Yellow, Medium Blue, Puple, Olive
  • Similar to beading with K.O thread, smooth, fray resistant, easy to thread.
Silamide Beading Thread (USA)
  • Pre-waxed
  • Two-ply twisted nylon thread, Sizes A and O. Threads through Size 13 needles. Size A. Thread will only go through once for tiny beads such as 24/0 using a twisted wire needle.
  • Cards100 yard, 500 yard, 900 yard spools
  • 26 colours: White, Off White, Light Grey, Ash Grey, Medium Grey, Gold, Beige, Dusty Rose, Orange, Pink, Red, Burgundy, Lilac, Purple, Wine, Kelly, Olive Green, Dark Green, Aqua, Slate, Royal Blue, Dark Blue, Yellow, Light Brown, Dark Brown.
  • Stiffer weave than Nymo or C-lon. Strands separate easily, a tendency to fray quickly, not colourfast.


Chrisbeads said...

I too have found some threads very frustrating. I seem to have rough fingers and there is nothing worse than the first frizzy mess when the thread gets my fingers.

I really like using Fireline -6 lb is good and it comes in four colours, pink, green, smoke and crystal. The green makes green beads look wonderful as does pink in beady shades from pale pink to purple.

Rachele said...

I also love fireline now that I have used it. It is very expensive compared to the threads though. I also like the 6lb it works perfectly. Thank you for the wonderful blog post!!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

As usual, a thorough and well organized glut of accurate and useful information. You amaze me. I have left you a little surprise on my own humble blog.

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op